Australia leads the world when it comes to millionaire immigrants
By Colin Kruger
Backpackers are not the only ones flocking to our shores in world-beating numbers.
Australia attracted more millionaires last year than much larger, and wealthier immigration destinations such as the US, according to a report by South African market research group, New World Wealth.
The researcher said the number of migrant millionaires rose to 82,000 last year, compared to 64,000 in 2015.
More than 11,000 made their way to Australia, which retained top spot on the list.
“For the second straight year Australia is the top country worldwide for millionaire inflows, beating out traditional destinations such as the US and the UK,” said the research group.
The data predates the election of US President Donald Trump and his executive order to place travel restrictions on the citizens of selected majority Muslim countries, as well as fresh plans to deport millions of illegal immigrants.
The US was second with 10,000 millionaire migrants, followed by Canada with 8000.
New Zealand was in fourth place, ahead of the UK, giving an indication of the strong influence of Chinese immigration on both sides of the Tasman.
New World Wealth’s head of research, Andrew Amoils, said personal safety and a good education system top the list of priorities for these sought-after immigrants - as well as proximity to Asia.
The latter may reflect the departure point for many of these millionaires: China.
About 9,000 millionaires left its shores last year. The exodus was greater in France, which saw 12,000 millionaires depart.
Australia is one of many countries that has introduced visa programmes to attract wealthy immigrants.
Millionaire migrants, almost all from China, ploughed AUD3.8 billion (US$2,922,732,000) into Australian assets since the government created an investor visa category in 2012.
Woolworths’ $110m bonus spree ‘a good problem to have’: CEO Brad Banducci
There is a AUD110 million (US$84,634,000) reason why Brad Banducci’s success in Woolworths’ grocery aisle is not reflected in the company’s bottom line.
The supermarket giant finally managed to beat Melbourne-based rival Coles on comparable store sales for the first time since Kevin Rudd’s first stint in the PM’s office.
But earnings before interest and tax plunged by a massive 14.5 per cent, thanks to the “reinstatement of team incentive payments”, training and costs related to the retailer’s store renewal and tech investments, said Banducci.
A bit of digging showed that most of the emphasis should have been on “team incentive payments” which totalled AUD110 million (US$84,634,000) for the half year, and could add up to another AUD40 million (US$30,776,000) in the six months to June.
Woolworths told Fairfax Media that “approximately 17,000 team members across all levels of Woolworths will be eligible for the bonuses”.
Given the success Woolworths has had in finally turning around the performance of its core business, the issue of the massive bonus was “a good problem to have I suppose”, Banducci told Fairfax Media.
To put the AUD110 million (US$84,634,000) bonus in perspective, it helped to shave more than AUD130 million (US$100,022,000) off the food division’s EBIT for the December year.
But the market agreed with Banducci. Woolies shares rose strongly at the prospect that the market giant might have finally fixed its core business - and the bonuses are obviously considered a temporary affliction.
But if you wanted to look for unambiguously good news for investors from the Woolworths result delivered on Wednesday, it came from the ugly stalwarts - the pubs and pokies joint venture, ALH, and the liquor division.
Both divisions managed to increase EBIT by 3.1 per cent each for the half year, but it was not enough to offset the earnings drop from the grocery business.
The company has renamed its liquor business Endeavour Drinks Group - just in case someone mistook it for Woolworths, the very wholesome fresh food people.
“Liquor is a dated term. ‘Drinks’ is more aligned to the social atmosphere our customers want to associate with beer, wine, cider, RTD and glass spirits,” Woolies executive Rose Scott said before the big change last June.
“This means no more Woolworths and no more Liquor.”
And no more hardware, of course. Masters managed to add another AUD117.6 million (US$90,451,452) EBIT loss to Woolworths’ bottom line.
ASIC dogs Seven
Nobody makes Kerry Stokes do anything he doesn’t want to do - a seven-year, AUD200 million (US$153,829,000) legal battle over the demise of Seven’s pay TV operation C7 proved that. But it is good to know that the billionaire does respond to a little nudge from the corporate watchdog.
Following the AUD75 million (US$57,685,875) write-down of Seven West Media’s stake in Yahoo7 last week, ASIC issued a release announcing that it had “reviewed Seven West’s financial report for the year ended 25 June 2016, as part of its ongoing financial surveillance programme”.
Apparently it did not like what it saw. “That review led ASIC to raise concerns regarding the carrying amount of the Yahoo7 investment,” said the announcement.